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Jamaica Cultural Development Commission

The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, or JCDC for short, is focused on organizing arts based community competitions and programs within Jamaica to foster the development and promotion of Jamaican culinary, performing, visual and literary arts. One of its primary responsibilities is the yearly "Jamaica Festival", an annual event celebrating Jamaican Independence and the unique cul...

Post # 1   Bookmark and Share Old 02-21-2009, 04:12 AM
mikedoesbooks mikedoesbooks is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 38
Default Thread Title:  Why We Travel...

Why do we travel? I thought I travelled to experience new places. I was never a sight see-er. I wanted to experience new and different lands, and for me, the point was to experience these new places and convey them to others through my writing so that they too could have the same experiences and (mostly) wonderful feelings I had known.

Exotic tales of places a world away enticed the young child in me from a young age with just their names: Zanzibar, Shanghai, The Acropolis.

After merely one day in a foreign country for the first time, not counting trips to Canada and the Bahamas, my reasons for traveling and my life have been changed.

Being in London and emerging from the gritty subway at the Waterloo tube station, I finally feel I am in a truly foreign land. The architecture, grand and imposing, hovers down over me. Walking through a cold, damp, February, gray-colored, cloud-crowded sky, my Love's father says to me, "Turn around."

And wham! The viceral power of the brown sugar-colored Houses of Parliment and Big Ben hit me all at once in view up the way a bit across the river. The Queen, the monarchy, Winston Churchill, and all the history, smack at me all at once a one gut squeezing punch. Blam! Here I am. Here I am, in London, in England, in Europe. A world away from the Brady Bunch-like home I grew up in on Raymond Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. Far, far away, and far from my grandmother who always said, Travel, travel, go off and see the world."

As I travel, why I travel changes. I realize, just being in London a short time, that for now, I travel to experience how travel changes me, what it does to me.

Travel grabs me in the center of my gut and squeezes the ooze of who I truly am up and out of me.

For me, a big part of it is noticing the similarities and differences from the land of my home. This is the same, but that's different. Why? How? How do these completely different objects come about with the same function in a place so far from what I know?

Travel for me is a means, not to an end, but to my center; to discover by comparing the familiar with the new. To shear away the artifice of difference and indifference and get at the core of my humanity -- our humanity.

...and then onto Paris, where one meal, in fact, one bite of one meal again completely changes my life some more.

Stay tuned, more to come...
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